×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

City Council Passes Resolution Urging Brunei to Sell Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Brunei for implementation of Sharia laws, but stopped short of issuing a city-sanctioned boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The city’s resolution, passed in a 5-0 vote, also calls for Brunei to divest ownership of the iconic property if it does not drop plans for the draconian laws, which include punishment like stoning to death for gay and lesbian relationships. It also calls on the country to drop investments of any other properties it owns in Beverly Hills.

Mayor Lili Bosse, who said she made a “personal decision” not to return to the hotel, called the planned laws in Brunei “shocking and inhumane,” and said they “must be met with a strong statement of support for the human rights of the people of Brunei.” She said that the decision to boycott should be a “personal choice.”

“We are standing for human rights, we are standing for dignity and we are standing for those who don’t have a voice,” said Bosse, who is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

The hotel is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, controlled by the government and the sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

The City Council meeting was marked by strong emotions.

Robert Tanenbaum, the trial attorney and novelist, called on a stronger resolution that declared a boycott, calling the millions that the city collects in bed taxes and other taxes “blood money.”

“You cannot bifurcate the asset that gives money back to Brunei, that continues its horrendous and inhumane policies,” he said.

Jimmy Delshad, former mayor of the city, called on a stronger statement, saying that it is “important to make bigger noise than just that.”

“I think the Beverly Hills Hotel should not be a centennial sponsor for Beverly Hills,” he said, calling for a citywide boycott.

Robert S. Anderson, whose great-grandmother opened the hotel in 1912 and who is its official historian, said that if the council was singling out the property, they should address other properties with ownership by countries with repressive laws. He also said that the council’s action could be perceived “that it is a war on Muslims that you are declaring here tonight.”

“The Beverly Hills Hotel does not send any money back to Brunei,” he said. “It is reinvested in the community, in the hotel.”

He said that the hotel has already seen a drop off of about $1.5 million in bookings.

A number of employees spoke out in support of the hotel, warning that the boycott was misdirected.

“I have been told by someone that comes on a regular basis that we are a collateral damage,” said one employee, who said she already has noticed a slowdown in business.

The CEO of the Dorchester Collection, Christopher Cowdray, said that this was a “global issue. It is not just about the sultan of Brunei. These laws exist in other parts of the world.” But he said that he didn’t see the council take action “refuting laws in those countries.”

Although he warned of the message that a boycott would send, particularly for tourism to the Los Angeles area, he said that he would make sure that employees were protected if business dropped.

 

More Biz

  • Adele Haenel Adèle Haenel

    Accusations Against Roman Polanski, Other Filmmakers Propel #MeToo in France

    When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two years ago, the news was mostly met in France with a Gallic shrug. Screen icon Catherine Deneuve even denounced the #MeToo movement as creating a “totalitarian” environment. But bombshell accusations this month from actors Adèle Haenel and Valentine Monnier may finally have turned the tide in the local film [...]

  • Subhash Chandra Chairman of the Zee

    Another 16% Slice of India’s Zee to be Sold by Essel

    The Essel Group is to sell a further 16.5% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited, India’s largest private sector broadcast group. The debt-reduction move comes just months after Essel auctioned off an 11% tranche of ZEEL. “The Group seeks to sell up to 16.5% stake in ZEEL to financial investors, in order to repay loan [...]

  • Frank Cicha

    Listen: Why Fox Television Stations Embraced Trial and Error in Daytime

    Frank Cicha, head of programming for Fox Television Stations, saw the future coming nearly a decade ago when Fox’s TV station group committed many millions to land syndication rights to “The Big Bang Theory” back in 2010. Even then, it was clear that big hits on the scale of “Big Bang” were going to be [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Files Malicious Prosecution Counterclaim Against City of Chicago

    Jussie Smollett has filed a counterclaim against the city of Chicago, several Chicago Police Department officers, and brothers Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo claiming that he was the victim of a malicious prosecution that caused him “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.” The filing document, obtained by Variety, alleges that the Chicago P.D. “obtained false and [...]

  • Anna-Kendrick-Frito-Lay-ad

    Christmas Crunch: Frito-Lay Bets on Anna Kendrick to Catch Holiday Snackers

    Anna Kendrick’s newest role puts her through what may be some of the most delicious torture of her career. Kendrick, known for films like “Up In The Air” and “Pitch Perfect,” recently found herself on the set of a three-day shoot surrounded by bowls, bowls and bowls of chips, popcorn and other salty snacks that [...]

  • CJ-CGV Cinemas

    CJ CGV Sells $286 Million Stake in Asian Cinema Businesses

    CJ CGV, the Korean movie theaters giant, is to raise $286 million from the sale of a slice of its Indonesian, Vietnamese and Chinese businesses. The company, which has its own stock market listing and is affiliated to the CJ Group, which includes CJ E&M and CJ Entertainment, said this week that it had sold [...]

  • Alibaba offices

    Hong Kong Share Sale Brings Alibaba an Easy $13 Billion

    Chinese e-commerce and entertainment giant Alibaba was easily able to sell all the shares it put up for sale in a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company is selling 500 million new shares, which on Wednesday it announced would be priced at HK$176 apiece, or roughly US$180 per New York-traded ADR, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content